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lingering bronchitis or something worse?
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lingering bronchitis or something worse?

Today is day #17 of an ongoing illness for me. It all started when I got achey (achy)/slight fever/chills for 2 days in a row. Well, those were my only symptoms, and they disappeared after 2 days. I felt FINE for 2 days after that, but then the following day I started to have a dry/scratchy/nonproductive cough along with a dry/scratchy/somewhat painful "sore" throat.

I had this "nonproductive" cough and painfully scratchy/dry throat for about 4 days, and then one day the throat pain went away, and the cough turned productive. Initially, the productiveness was CRAZY....cups full of phlegm ranging all sorts of colors/thickness depending on the day/time of day, etc.  

Day #17, and here I am....with a slight cough (not NEAR as much as before) that is SOMEWHAT productive (sometimes it's dry, sometimes some phlegm comes up), but I hardly cough at night, and I cough a lot LESS during the day, but I STILL COUGH.

Now, on about day #13, I all of the sudden out of nowhere get a stuffy/runny nose. That was NOT an initial symptom, so I'm a bit confused about this. Why the nose issue when the cough is slowly getting better?!

Also, throughout this whole time, my voice has been hoarse/scratchy, and it's STILL (day #17) not normal!

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I was on amoxicillin for 7 days (was told bronchitis from doc and given prescrip.), and it didn't do anything...this makes me think it's definitely viral.

Right now, it's a stuffy/runny nose, a lingering cough that is usually productive, and a hoarse voice.

Is it normal to have a lingering, but substantially BETTER (if that's possible) cough 2.5 weeks after initial symptoms with bronchitis? Should I be concerned? When should I start to be concerned? I've been to the doc once already....told bronchitis & given antibiotic that didn't help. Next step to take?
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796253_tn?1344994932
Hi and thanks for using the forum.

It is not uncommon to have a lingering cough after bronchitis- sometimes for several weeks.  Since you are significantly better, I think that you are "on the mend" so to speak.  Continue to rest and stay hydrated.   If you feel that you start to get worse again, develop a fever, or develop new symptoms, you should let your doctor know.  Most likely, just as you said, it is viral and just has to run its course.   I hope this helps.

Bridget
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Thank you for your prompt response!

I thought it had to run its course, but I read online about all of these scares of having bronchitis turn into pneumonia, and it freaked me out.

I forgot to mention one symptom, though.....when I breathe in I can sometimes (especially while laying down) here an odd "crackling" (not sure how to describe it) noise, and when I breathe out, I can "hear" what sounds to still be some congestion in my chest.

What is that?  Is that what "wheezing" is, or not quite?

Also, what about the stuffy nose?  Normal?
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796253_tn?1344994932
Bronchitis can turn into pneumonia, but since you seem to be improving, you are probably OK.  What you have described (the crackling sound) sounds like rhonchi and it can be heard sometimes with bronchitis and also with pneumonia.  The stuffy nose is probably just a part of this whole illness.  If you continue to improve, then I think you are OK.  However, if you develop a fever, become short of breath or feel that your symptoms have worsened, then you should go back to your doctor to be checked out.  Don't worry about having been to the doctor once already- if you are still sick then you should be re-evaluated.  Good luck and I hope you continue to feel better.

Bridget
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Update:

I'm coughing less and less every day....very little now; however, a few things:

1. I still wake up every day with a runny/stuffy nose (not as bad as it was a week ago)

I've been doing neti pot DAILY....it helps, but again, I have to/want to blow my nose about 5 times a day....almost always CLEAR thin mucus, but once in a great while....there'a a bit of a gray streak in it...

What's the gray?

2. That "sound" I described before....it's getting WORSE/LOUDER/MORE NOTICEABLE.  It's the worst when I lay down, and basically , when I exhale and extend my exhale, it sounds like pop fizzing....a gurgling noise...almost like I can HEAR congestion in my chest still.  I freaked my husband out by it the other day....

Is it NORMAL to be able to hear such a thing?  Is that rhonchi?  It isn't high pitched like I read wheezing should be....it's a very UNIQUE sound, but quite EASILY heard by the normal ear...definitely no stethoscope needed.

3. My voice....it's getting BETTER, but still...if I'm out socialzing for more than 3 hours at a time with a group of people, it gets "tired" and "hoarse" sounding by the end of the night....it's still not 100% NORMAL.

Is this alarming?

What's funny is that I don't FEEL sick....at all.  I have energy.  I can function and do daily tasks without trouble (no shortness of breath, etc.).  

I'm starting to think it may be caused by mycoplasma or some other atypical bacteria that wouldn't normally respond to the Amoxicilling (well, Augmentin) I took a few weeks ago.


Should I head back into the doc?  Should I ask/inquire about possible walking/atypical pneumonia or something?  Try another antibiotic?
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796253_tn?1344994932
Since you are not having a fever, or feeling particularly sick, then you probably don't need another antibiotic.   If you are concerned, there is no harm in seeing your doctor again to be sure that everything is OK.  It does sound like things are getting better though.  It is possible that you have a post nasal drip.  This would account for the stuffy nose in the morning as well as the mucous that you can hear when you are laying down.  You might want to look into seeing an ENT if you think this could be the case.  Good luck.

Bridget
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UPDATE #2:

First of all ,thanks.

Second, here's another update:

So, just finished week # 5 of the SAGA...ugh.

1. My voice is BACK...no problems there.

2. Other than coughing 3 maybe 4 times without trying/doing it on purpose, I only cough now when I "tell" myself to do so (make a conscious effort).

I make this effort because....that symptom of "hearing chest congestion when I exhale VERY deeply (the rattling/rice crispies/pop fizz sound) IS STILL THERE (but I will say, not as loud AND not as "congested sounding").  

When I hear that noise, I cough (in panic mode to get rid of the phlegm), and often times, phlegm DOES come up (usually white and/or clear, but in the morning it's ALWAYS greenish/yellowish for the first few coughs).

so, I went back to the doc and....he listened to my lungs and listened again to my "series" of symptoms jotting down notes.

In the end he said,

1. I think you probably have post nasal drip that is causing your chest congestion.
2. your lungs are making VERY slight wheezing noises, no rales, and nothing else alarming, so I don't think you have pneumonia or anything serious like that.
3. I think it's viral, like I said, but in case, I'll give you another round of antibiotics.

I walked out with NASONEX to spray up my nose 2x a day, as well as a 10 day script for Doxycycline (2x a day as well).

I'm on day #5 of this course of treatment, and .....pretty much, no change.

Still have phlegm that I am able to cough up, still HEAR chest congestion when exhaling deeply, etc.

Feel FINE, but annoyed/worried about lingering phlegmy chest/productive cough.

Could this be Bronchiectasis?  Anything else?

Am I freaking out TOO SOON?  Should I request a chest xray (haven't had one yet)?

Any suggestion for  "next steps" or a time line of when to visit the good ole doc again? :)
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796253_tn?1344994932
I think your doctor is right in that it is probably viral.  The post nasal drip does account for the slight cough.  I would finish the course of antibiotic and see how you are after that.  These things can take a long time to clear up (as you know) and the post nasal drip may improve with the nasonex.  Since you continue to show progress, again, I think you should continue to give yourself time to get better.  Good luck.

Bridget
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